Penguins and other creatures - 2 December 2012

It's another beautiful day here at Port Lockroy. The snow's melting fast and the penguins are busily going about their nest building, with stone stealing sparking regular fights and squabbles. Some of the nests are really coming on and on Friday we spotted the first penguin egg of the season!

We've been making the most of the sunshine and everyone has been painting up on the roofs of both Bransfield House and the boat shed. Plastered in suncream, we could also enjoy the incredible view over the bay, currently dotted with huge sparkling icebergs which have been blown in from the Neumayer channel. One giant tabular berg is bigger than the whole of Goudier island making us feel that we really are living on a tiny little rock. Getting the opportunity to take a walk up to the Harbour glacier really reinforced this feeling. It was amazing to look down on the little huts at Port Lockroy, surrounded by the massive landscape.

Our little rock is getting steadily busier as the season progresses. The bay is buzzing with activity since the arrival of three yachts on Saturday. As Goudier Island is still connected to Wienke Island by sea ice, we have been enjoying regular visits from the yacht passengers, who can simply stroll accross without the need for a zodiac.

The activity is not restricted to just humans and penguins, we have had several interesting seal visitors too. We have had a Weddell seal with her pup snoozing on Bill's Island. And then a candidate who seemed keen to replace Anna on the team... an elephant seal lolloped on to the ice and to our surprise and alarm, it headed up the hill, straight for the Nissen hut!  After a good look, it decided that the penguin colony would be a more comfortable place to rest, so plonked itself down right on top of a group of penguin nests, where it remained for the rest of the day.

Another cause for excitement this week was the arrival of our first bag of mail! To my delight, amoungst the usual philatelic items was a fantastic birthday/survival package, thanks Claire! Sadly the rest of the team are still waiting for correspondence but the next mail ship arrives on 29th December, so there's still time to get something in the post!

Kath